Beauty and the Beast Story
There once was a rich man who had six children — three daughters and three sons. After a lifetime of good luck, the man suddenly fell upon hard times. His house burned down, and his ships sank at sea.
He and his children were forced to move into a small cottage in the country, where they lived on food that they grew themselves. His two oldest daughters were very unhappy. They were sure that no young gentlemen would want to marry them now that they were poor. But the man’s youngest daughter, named Beauty, was always hopeful.
One day, Beauty’s father heard that one of his ships had sailed safely into harbor. He decided to go to the port to see this for himself, even though it was a long ride. “What special gifts would you like me to bring you?” he asked his children the night before he left.
“I would like a beautiful new dress,” his eldest daughter said.
“Please bring me a handsome pocket watch,” the middle son said.
After all the children gave their requests, he turned to Beauty and said, “My sweet child, what can I bring you?”
“Nothing, Father,” Beauty said. “Nothing but your safe return home.”
“Surely you want something,” her father said.
Beauty replied, “If you see one, I would like to have a rose.” Beauty missed the gardens at their old home.
Beauty’s father set off on his long journey. He reached the port safely but discovered that his ship had been robbed. He was now poorer than he was before. Sadly, he began the long journey home.
It got colder and colder in the forest. It started to snow so hard Beauty’s father could barely see the trail ahead of him. Suddenly, he saw a row of flowering trees. Then he felt a warm summer’s breeze on his face!
He went a little farther and found himself in the middle of a beautiful warm and
summery garden.The snow instantly melted off his coat, and the warmth returned to his numb fingers and toes.
Beauty’s father had stumbled upon an enchanted castle. The castle was surrounded by gardens, lush green bushes, and a magical fountain. He was delighted to see that there was no snow in front of the castle.
Beauty’s father went to the door of the castle and knocked. He waited, but no one answered the door. Then he pushed the huge door open with all his might and stepped into the castle.
“Hello!” he yelled. His voice echoed through the castle’s great hallway. He continued walking down the marble hall until he found a cheerful little room with a table full of delicious food. He ate his fill, then fell asleep in front of the roaring fire.
The next morning there was still no sign of anyone in the castle, so he decided to go home. On his way through the gardens, he saw a rosebush blooming with red roses. He remembered Beauty’s request and picked one. Just as he snipped the flower from its branch, a horrible beast in a fine suit appeared as if by magic!
“Is this how you thank me? I feed and shelter you and then you steal from me?” growled the beast.
Beauty’s father pleaded for his life. He told the beast the flower was a gift for his youngest daughter.
The beast said that he would not kill him but would accept one of his daughters instead. He promised to treat the daughter kindly if she would come to live with him.
“Please,” begged Beauty’s father. “Take me instead!”
But the beast refused. Beauty’s father returned home that day and told his children what had happened. Neither of the two oldest daughters wanted to go live with the beast.
“It’s all right, Father,” Beauty said quietly. “It was my rose that started the trouble, and so I must be the one to go.”
The other children all agreed that Beauty should go. Their father was very sad, because he loved Beauty very much. But he knew that she was the bravest of them all.
The next day, Beauty and her father went to the beast’s castle. Again they found no one in the enchanted castle, and again supper was set on the table. This time, the beast appeared as they finished eating. Beauty was frightened by the beast’s terrible face, but he spoke very gently to her. “Are you willing to stay with me to save your father?” he asked in a soft voice.
Beauty looked into the beast’s eyes and saw that they were very kind. She was not afraid of him. “I will stay,” she answered.
The next day, after Beauty’s father left, she quickly made the beast’s castle her home. Beauty had her own room with mirrors for walls and a clock that woke her by calling out her name. She spent her days alone, exploring the wonders of the castle. Every night she sat down to dinner with the beast. He looked quite fierce, but his voice was quiet and gentle, and he always spoke kindly to Beauty. Soon she found herself growing more and more fond of him.
In fact, Beauty came to look forward to their quiet evenings together. After dinner they would walk through the beautiful gardens and talk of many things. No matter what they discussed, the beast would ask Beauty to marry him.
“Oh, please do not ask me that question,” she would say to the beast.
Although Beauty was happy in the magical castle, she missed her own home, her brothers and sisters, and her loving father. One night, she asked the beast if she could go home to visit her family.
The beast would miss Beauty. He had grown to love her. But he wanted her to be happy, so he agreed that she could go home for two months. Beauty was so delighted, she kissed the beast’s furry cheek.
Then the beast took Beauty to a room that had two trunks in it. “Please fill these two trunks with gifts for your family,” he said.
“Thank you,” Beauty exclaimed. “My sisters and brothers will be delighted!” Beauty packed the trunks. But no matter how much she packed, the trunks were never full.
When Beauty was ready to go home, the beast gave her a special gift. It was a magic ring with a large red jewel. “This ring will take you back home. Just turn it on your finger.”
The next morning, Beauty awoke to the sound of her father’s voice! She was home in her own bed. Her family was very happy to see her. Later, as Beauty pulled gift after gift from the magical trunks, her family marveled at the beast’s generosity.
“This is the most beautiful necklace I’ve ever seen,” Beauty’s oldest sister said.
“This dress is made out of the finest fabrics,” the other sister exclaimed happily.
Beauty’s family made a wonderful feast that night to welcome her home. Everyone gathered around the table and listened while Beauty told them all about the enchanted castle, her room, and the beautiful gardens. She also told them how much she had grown to like her friend, the beast.
“Is he really ugly?” her sisters wanted to know.
Beauty nodded and then said, “He may be ugly, but his heart is very kind.”
“Do you talk much to him?” her brothers wanted to know.
“Yes, we talk every night at dinner,” Beauty said. “He is very good company,” she added.
Beauty enjoyed the time she spent with her family. Her father’s luck had changed, so they were rich once again. But as the weeks passed, Beauty began to miss the enchanted castle. She missed the wonderful food and beautiful flowers that always seemed to appear magically on her table.
But most of all, she missed the beast. She spent hours thinking of their long talks at dinnertime, and she fondly remembered their evening strolls through the gardens.
One night, Beauty missed the beast more than usual. She took the magic ring out of her jewelry box and put it on her finger. When she looked deep into the jewel, she saw the beast lying in his garden. He seemed to be dying!
“Oh, my poor, wonderful beast!” cried Beauty. With that, she turned the ring on her finger and was magically returned to the enchanted garden.
Beauty gasped when she saw the beast lying on the ground. He seemed nearly dead. Beauty rushed to his side, but the beast was so weak he could not move. She lifted up his head, and he opened his eyes to look at her one last time.
“Oh, please do not die!” cried Beauty. “I never knew it before, but I love you!”
“Will you marry me, Beauty?” the beast whispered.
“Yes,” Beauty answered, holding the beast’s hand tightly.
At Beauty’s words there was a sudden flash of light, and the beast leaped up. Beauty saw that her ugly friend had changed into a handsome prince. “An evil enchantress put me under an evil spell, and only true love could free me from it,” the prince exclaimed. Beauty could hardly believe her eyes. The beast was now the most handsome prince she had ever seen. “You broke the spell with your love,” the prince said, grasping Beauty’s hand.
The prince sent for Beauty’s family, and he and Beauty were married the next day. They lived happily ever after in the enchanted castle.